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  #1  
Old 07-01-2000, 02:55 AM
Aaron's Avatar
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Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
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I've been asking alof of my gearhead buddies this question lately. With all of these new cars out there, the variety is unbelieveable. While we're all MB lovers at heart, some of us are enthusiastic about other marques as well. Anyhow, after seeing what's out there on the new market today, I would have to say that my first choice in a brand new car would be the Saab 9-3 Viggen coupe (in Lightning Metallic Blue). I haven't been impressed with MBs products for the last few years, and would never buy a Benz newer than a '95 model year. After that merger with (arrgh!) Chrysler and recently purchasing Daewoo and Hyundai I am really beginning to have second thoughts about Mercedes-Benz as a company anymore. Seems like all they're in it for now is to mass produce cars and the build quality just seems very poor anymore. Sure, I'll ALWAYS love vintage MBs but as far as new cars, the Saab Viggen stole my heart. I'd like to hear from others on this matter.

------------------
Rgds,
Aaron Greenberg
MB technician
Precision Motorcars, Cincinnati, Ohio
'67 250SE Cabriolet
'77 450SL
'80 300SD
'85 380SE
'86 420SEL
'89 420SEL
'93 300E 2.8
'74 Jensen Interceptor Mk.III
'81 DeLorean DMC12
'84 BMW 745i Turbo
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  #2  
Old 07-01-2000, 03:18 AM
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JCE JCE is offline
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My brother is an avid MB owner - currently a 240D and a non Kompressor 4 cyl C class about 2-3 yrs old. Before that he had a Saab turbo. He says he loved the handling and performance, but despite being anal retentive on the maintenance and Mobile 1 at 2500 intervals, was nickled and dimed to death on little things, and occasionally eaten alive on big repairs. He sold it and bought the C class. Also, he said there were relatively few repair shops for Saabs that he trusted, and the only nearby dealer was a bandit. Finally, when touring and away from large cities, you might as well drive a Rolls, Ferrari, or Bugatti - no parts or knowledgeble techs in the wilderness.

He and I agree with you on the new MBs - technical wonders with lots more plastic, rattles and paint blemishes on the two I rode in at the local dealership. I would hate to try to keep up repairs on all the wunderstuffen when they are 10 years old. I sure hope they have gone with modular plug in replacement electronic packages. (I read that the new Porsche Carrera has 43 computers, and that the main computer has more MIPS processing power than the original Cray super-computer!!!) My next car is probably going to be a w124 92-95 400E - E420. That should last me until the feds dictate we use 50 mph regulated 1200 lb fuel cell/hybrids for our 3 days a week of alloted driving priviliges (100,000,000 births world wide last year!). Regards,
------------------
JCE
87 300E, 65k miles
Smoke Silver

[This message has been edited by JCE (edited 07-01-2000).]
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  #3  
Old 07-01-2000, 04:11 AM
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My choice would be the 2000 Audi A6 (2.7 turbo 6 spd manual) in Ming blue. You gotta love german engineering. About the new MB's--their still quality cars, but just not as good as their predecesors.


Agron
1989 300E (108k miles)
Monotoned Smoke Silver
Euro Headlights w/ clear corners
97 Replica E420 Rims 205/55/16
20% tint
12" Sub-enclosure

------------------
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  #4  
Old 07-01-2000, 05:28 AM
nokia8860
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VW Golf 4 Motion would be the next car for me in Jazz Blue.
I'm a dub lover by heart. Had a Jetta 16v and a Mk4 GTi, which I traded in for my C280. But for me I think this will be my last benz purchase till I become super rich
So I hope when I'm ready to get a 4 Motion Golf VW of US has imported them for sale here in the states.


------------------
My name is Joey and I
drive a car.
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  #5  
Old 07-01-2000, 09:06 AM
Benzman500
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ya your right the new mercedes have so much plastic why have they gone so over board and the price has gone up.

------------------
1985 euro 500sel 220k
1981 300sd 278k sold
1979 240d 298k sold
1983 300d 272k sold
1989 chrysler 2.2l Turbo
Leabaron 130k
1991 300e 2.6 (hopefully soon)
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  #6  
Old 07-01-2000, 10:12 AM
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Location: CT, USA
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Not fer 'nuthin, folks, but I humbly submit that prices have come down, way down on these things. Indexed for time (assuming $$ roughly halves in value every 7-8 years based on cost-of-living), my '92 500E would cost around $160k...a LOT more than an $85k E55.

I frankly think the newer cars are giving quite a bit of value to their drivers. And they're undeniably even safer in many cases, and invariably outfitted with more conveniences than their forebears.

Lastly, indeed the new S-class is awesome, but even the regional MBZ tech guru told me he's been befuddled by some of the new things going wrong...and they're even harder to diagnose.



------------------
Best regards, Michael
'92 500E
'88 300TE
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  #7  
Old 07-01-2000, 03:21 PM
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JCE JCE is offline
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I agree the prices are lower and there is a lot of value to the new MBs. I am put off by all the electronics and computers - they do wonders for safety, handling, and emissions, but as you said, will be very difficult to diagnos and repair, and probably very costly as well. A lot more research needs to be put into reducing the operational expense over the life of the vehicle and the need for inexpensive and simple diagnosis and repair of the complex subsystems. MB needs to incorporate factory dial - up diagnosis and predictive part failure analysis techniques for these complex electronics. Otherwise, complex hardware plus rugged environments equals either expensive maintenance, frequent failure, or both.

------------------
JCE
87 300E, 65k miles
Smoke Silver
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  #8  
Old 07-01-2000, 05:14 PM
rojogo
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The new c-class has the look of the s-class without the size and price. I would probably look at one of these as a new car purchase. I am sure it will full of bugs! I will probably wait a few years to let them work it all out. The 99' e300 td would be a nice alternative if you could find one!
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  #9  
Old 07-01-2000, 07:23 PM
tracy_leb
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Interesting topic. I just did the assessment of what to buy by first thumbing through the last 6 months of my Auto Week magazine collection, then went out and bought a y2K ml 320 with extra warranty coverage, for a total of 9 years or 100K miles of warranty coverage. I did look at wagon offerings by Audi & Volvo, & went to BMW for wagon and SUV. Had BMW had an awd version of their wagon I might have gone that way, but in the end the combination of functionality & warranty made the ML the favorite choice.
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  #10  
Old 07-02-2000, 01:42 AM
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Still waitin' for GM to resurrect the '57 Chevy, complete of course with tree-huggin' gadgetry to keep Gore and company happy.

And bein' somewhat set in my ways, I'll never understand why MB abandoned the 126 series.
This line is simply timeless.

Regards to you all.

Mike Murrell
'91 300-SEL
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  #11  
Old 07-02-2000, 02:46 AM
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Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
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Well, curiosity finally got the best of me today and I went and drove a new 9-3 Viggen. It's everything I expected--and more! This is one new car that certainly justifies the $40,000 price tag! Wow, what a machine! Had the one I drove been finished in Lightning Metallic Blue, I might have had to go home with it. Of course, I would still have stuck to driving my 300SD and the Saab would join the rest of my cars in the stable. It's just one of those very rare super cool new cars.

------------------
Rgds,
Aaron Greenberg
MB technician
Precision Motorcars, Cincinnati, Ohio
'67 250SE Cabriolet
'77 450SL
'80 300SD
'85 380SE
'86 420SEL
'89 420SEL
'93 300E 2.8
'74 Jensen Interceptor Mk.III
'81 DeLorean DMC12
'84 BMW 745i Turbo
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  #12  
Old 07-02-2000, 09:50 AM
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As I have worked on MBs through 5 new "S" Classes, I have gotten over the fact that the I don't usually like the new cars looks.

As I am a Technician with a B.S in Engineering I drool over the new technology.

My over all favorite bar none is a twin-turbo Carrera 4. I have always had the sports car in the family and my wife drove the big car. That involved three eras of "S" class cars. My current 84 928S which I purchased in 1987 still only has 92k on it but I am looking right now for a 97 or newer 540i BMW. I also am real attracted to the V8 CLKs, but am not tuned into the look yet. (I hated the 210 chassis when it came out, but now find it the class of the group - I will probably grow to like the wedge.... its coming).

I will get the 540 sometime this year. Getting the 540 is a business decision as our shop needs to become more aware of BMW's sophisticated systems.. at least the equal of MB in that reguard. I have never owned a big BMW before as I really disapprove of a car that I can't tune the drivability with alignment. I plan to only have the car for a year or less - my partner is going to get a 500SL. We are planning on selling them at least yearly as a business venture and a technology experience.
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  #13  
Old 07-03-2000, 02:01 PM
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Location: Berkeley, CA
Posts: 199
I have been looking at interesting "practical" cars lately such as: Audi A4 wagons (with Quattro) including the upcomong "crossover" vehicle; Suburu RS models; maybe a Nisson Frontier crew-cab truck. On the more impractical front. a new Porche Turbo would be nice.

John
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  #14  
Old 07-03-2000, 02:06 PM
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Location: Bismarck, ND, USA
Posts: 40
Great topic, because I'm in the "looking for a new car" mood these days. Of course, my wife would say that I'm always looking for another vehicle to buy!

If we buy new, I'm most seriously looking at a Saab 9-5 or an Audi A6 quattro. I prefer a manual transmission, and that makes the list of possible cars much narrower. I think the new Volvo S70 is also offered with a manual transmission, so we'll check that out. A BMW 3 or 5 series would be nice, and the new C class Benz will certainly be on the list (six speed manual, yeah!), however, winter driving here in North Dakota makes front/all wheel drive a more reasonable choice. The Saab with the 2.3 turbo four and five speed gets 21/29 mpg, which is the highest in this class, and also a consideration these days. Of course, a diesel would be even better, but only VW offers one, and the VW diesels are a little small. I came close to buying a new Jetta TDI last year, but made the mistake of also test driving a 9-5 at the same dealer, and decided to wait until we could the Saab or a car of similar size and quality.

John R. Boyce
Bismarck, ND
1983 280SL, Euro, 5 speed
1995 Ford Club Wagon
1998 Ford F-150
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  #15  
Old 07-03-2000, 11:56 PM
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JCE JCE is offline
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John:
For whatever it is worth, I have some friends who have lived in so Cal for 25 yrs, spending every weekend in the mountains at Big Bear - Lots of winter snow, icey mountain roads (chains/local residents only conditions at times). They have owned just about every type of RWD PU, FWD and 4WD wagon and SUV out there, starting with ford and chevy, going through Saab and volvo, then thru toyota landcruiser and finally Subaru forester. Their conclusions were that the Toyota was the best of the lot until they drove the Forester, which they feel has the best combination of power, handling, comfort, economy, and durability (They now own 2!). The Toyota had most of the above, but was apparently a little underpowered in the mountains, and not very economical. They say the Subaru feels more powerful on the hills, is more economical, and surprisingly holds everything they used to carry in the Land Cruiser (2 golden retrievers, earthquake/winter survival kit for 2, several file boxes of book-in-progress materials, briefcases, laptops, etc.). Hope this helps.

------------------
JCE
87 300E, 65k miles
Smoke Silver
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